Male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss in men. More than 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent.
One cause of male pattern baldness is genetics, or having a family history of baldness. Research has found that male pattern baldness is associated with male sex hormones called androgens. The androgens have many functions, including regulating hair growth.
Each hair on your head has a growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.
Inherited male pattern baldness usually has no side effects.
Male pattern balding, also called androgenic alopecia and is one of the most common reasons that men lose hair as they get older.
Women can also experience this type of hair loss, but it’s much less common.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen. An androgen is a sex hormone that contributes to the development of what are thought of as "male" sex characteristics, such as body hair. But it can also make you lose your hair faster and earlier.
DHT is derived from testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that’s present in both men and women. It and DHT are androgens, or hormones that contribute to male sex characteristics when you go through puberty. These traits include:
a deep voice, increased body hair and muscle mass growth of the penis, scrotum, and testicles as sperm production begins and changes in how fat is stored around your body
As you get older, testosterone and DHT have many other benefits to your body, such as maintaining your overall muscle mass and promoting sexual health and fertility.
Men typically have more testosterone present in their bodies. About 10% of testosterone in all adults is converted to DHT with the help of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5-AR).
Once it’s freely flowing through your bloodstream, DHT can then link to receptors on hair follicles in your scalp, causing them to shrink and become less capable of supporting a healthy head of hair.
Hair everywhere on your body grows out of structures underneath your skin known as follicles, which are essentially tiny capsules that each contain a single strand of hair.
The hair within a follicle typically goes through a growth cycle that lasts about two to six years. Even if you shave or cut your hair, the same hair will grow back out of the follicle from the root of the hair contained within the follicle.
At the end of this cycle, the hair enters what’s known as a resting phase before finally falling out a few months later. Then, the follicle produces a new hair, and the cycle begins again.
High levels of androgens, including DHT, can miniaturise your hair follicles as well as shorten this cycle, causing hair to grow out looking thinner and more brittle, as well as fall out faster. DHT can also make it take longer for your follicles to grow new hairs once old hairs fall out.
Some people are more susceptible to these effects of DHT on scalp hair based on variations in their androgen receptor (AR) gene. Androgen receptors are proteins that allow hormones like testosterone and DHT to bind to them. This binding activity typically results in normal hormonal processes like body hair growth.
But variations in the AR gene can increase androgen receptivity in your scalp follicles, making you more likely to experience male pattern hair loss.
Female pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. It’s similar to male pattern baldness, except that women can lose their hair in a different pattern than men.
Hair loss in women is normal, especially as you age. Up to two thirds of women experience hair loss after menopause. Less than half of trusted source of women will make it past age 65 with a full head of hair.
Female pattern baldness is hereditary. It’s more common after menopause, so hormones are likely responsible. If you notice that you’re losing hair, see your doctor or a dermatologist. They will be able to determine if you’re experiencing female pattern baldness or another type of hair loss.
The sooner you get treated, the faster you’ll be able to stop the loss — and possibly even regrow hair.
Female pattern baldness, the hair’s growing phase slows down. It also takes longer for new hair to begin growing. Hair follicles shrink, leading the hair that does grow to be thinner and finer. This can result in hair that easily breaks.
It’s normal for women to lose 50 to 100 hairs each day, but those with female pattern baldness can lose many more.
In men, hair loss starts in the front of the head and recedes to the back until they go bald. Women lose hair from all over their head, starting at their part line. Hair at the temples may also recede.
Woman are less likely to go completely bald, but you may have a lot of thinning throughout your hair.
Doctors divide female pattern baldness into three types:
Type I is a small amount of thinning that starts around your part.Type II involves widening of the part, and increased thinning around it.Type III is thinning throughout, with a see-through area at the top of your scalp.
Hair loss is passed down from parents to their children, and many different genes are involved. You can inherit these genes from either parent. You’re more likely to have female pattern baldness if your mother, father, or other close relatives have experienced hair loss.
Female pattern baldness is generally caused by an underlying endocrine condition or a hormone secreting tumor.
If you have other symptoms, such as an irregular period, severe acne, or an increase unwanted hair, consult your doctor. You may be experiencing a different type of hair loss.